E-cig makers have 60 days to show they aren’t targeting minors

US government considers ban on flavored e-cigarettes over youth 'epidemic'

The agency has asked that the five top-selling national e-cigarette brands submit plans on how they will address youth access and use of their products.

Juul Labs said it would work with the FDA on its request and is committed to preventing underage use of its product. The FDA took the largest enforcement action against more than 1,300 retailers and five manufacturers of selling e-cigarettes on Wednesday. Juul, a private company, represents 72 percent of sales, according to Nielsen data compiled by Wells Fargo analyst Bonnie.

The company has stressed that the device was created for adults who want to transition from regular cigarettes. In a statement, they called for support for their bipartisan legislation, introduced in July, which would ban flavored cigars and place stringent controls on e-juice flavorings.

In addition, the FDA on Wednesday issued 12 warning letters to online retailers for selling misleadingly labeled and/or advertised e-liquids resembling kid-friendly food products such as candy and cookies.

The FDA will also look closely at "straw purchases", in which adults visit web-based stores and buy in bulk to resell to minors. The agency also imposed fines - ranging from $279 to $11,182 - on another 130 establishments for repeated offenses.

Then previous year, a few months after being sworn in as commissioner, Gottlieb announced a new comprehensive tobacco framework.

"I've been warning the e-cigarette industry for more than a year that they needed to do much more to stem these youth trends", he said. The agency extended that reach to other tobacco products, including e-cigarettes, in August 2016 and allowed those products that were already on the market to continue sales while preparing an application for FDA clearance.

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Also, the agency is probing manufacturer's online shops for "straw" purchases in which buyers resell products to minors. "We can not allow a whole new generation to become addicted to nicotine". The FDA declined to release the figures publicly.

The FDA claims that "more than 2 million middle and high school students were current users of e-cigarettes in 2017", but Reason disputes this number, noting that it includes respondents who vaped even once during the previous month.

The Vapor Technology Association, which says it represents over 600 vaping manufacturers and distributors, also supports limiting teen access, but added that the new actions by the FDA ventured "into unsafe territory" by not being in the best interest of public health.

All tobacco use, including e-cigarette use and vaping, are prohibited by state law in public schools. And it highlighted e-cigarettes' role as a way for adult smokers to transition off cigarettes.

However, he seemed reluctant to give up on flavored nicotine, because he said it appeals to adult cigarette smokers. "By working together, we believe we can help adult smokers while preventing access to minors, and we will continue to engage with the FDA to fulfill our mission".

Still, Myers said, there's "no way to put that genie back in the bottle" with youth use.

Shares of Big Tobacco companies surged in trading today. So we don't want to - we don't want to extinguish this opportunity entirely, because we do see some potential benefit from having these products on the market as a way for adult smokers to get access to nicotine, without all the harmful effects of combusting tobacco.

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